Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects Review)
The University of Southern Mississippi and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have established standards and guidelines to protect individuals from risks associated with participating in research studies. The university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for ensuring that adequate safeguards are in place to minimize the risk to individuals involved in such studies. The IRB, through an appointed chairperson, reports directly to the vice president for research. The IRB acts as a monitor to ensure that the university’s research using people as participants is in compliance with the U.S. DHHS policies and other procedures.
All investigations, experiments, surveys, or demonstrations involving human subjects, regardless of funding or the source of the funds, must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board before the activity is begun. This includes activities in which a faculty member is supervising research activities, including class projects, master’s theses, specialist’s theses and projects, and doctoral projects and dissertations.
Application forms for submission of protocols for review by the Institutional Review Board are available from each college’s representative and in The Graduate School. Prior to submitting the required copies of an application for approval by the IRB, students should do the following: (1) have the application approved by their thesis, project, or dissertation director or professor teaching a course, (2) secure the appropriate signatures, and (3) have the application reviewed by their college representative to the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The current IRB chair is Dr. Lawrence Hosman, Department of Communication Studies, (601-266-4271).
The signed and approved IRB application forms and approval letter should be included in an appendix of the thesis, project, and/or dissertation. The names of the college representatives to the IRB may be obtained from the college dean’s office and The Graduate School (See www.usm.edu/graduateschool/instreviewboard.php.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a standing committee of the university. The IACUC is qualified through the experience and expertise of its members to oversee the university’s animal program, facilities, and procedures. The IACUC consists of eight members (six regular and two ex officio) and its membership meets the compositional requirements set forth in the Public Health Service Policy. The IACUC, through an appointed chairperson, reports directly to the vice president for research and economic development. The IACUC acts as a monitor to ensure the university’s facilities are operated in compliance with the Public Health Service Policy and other federal policies.
Federal law requires that any university activity (whether research or instructional in nature) involving the use of vertebrate animals be reviewed by the IACUC and approved by that body before the activity may proceed. The original completed form, signed by the project director (a faculty member, not a student), the appropriate departmental chair and dean, and nine (9) copies should be forwarded to the chair of the IACUC for processing. Review of applications requires approximately two to six weeks. The approved IACUC protocol application form should be included in an appendix of the thesis, project, and/or dissertation. IACUC protocol forms and instructions may be obtained from the IACUC website at www.usm.edu/iacuc or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.